Nature of Low‐Frequency, Atmosphere‐Generated Seismic Noise

Toshiro Tanimoto, & Yijing Li

Published July 14, 2020, SCEC Contribution #10877

Characteristics of atmosphere-generated seismic noise below 0.05 Hz are investigated when surface pressure is large. In this paper, large pressure means pressure power spectral density exceeding 100 $Pa^2/Hz$ (at 0.01 Hz). We discuss three main points. The first point is existence of two frequency ranges that show high coherence between co-located pressure and vertical seismic data. The lower frequency (LF) range is broad and its upper bound is about 0.002 Hz. The higher frequency (HF) range is bounded between about 0.01 Hz and 0.05 Hz. Phase difference between pressure and vertical displacement is different for the two ranges. The LF range shows phase difference of zero and the HF range shows phase difference of 180 degrees. The second point is on the excitation mechanism in the HF range. Using theory and data, we show that seismic noise in the HF range is primarily excited by wind-related pressure. When pressure is high, wind speeds become high and wind directions become uni-directional. In such a case, a deterministic, moving pressure-source by Sorrells (1971) captures the characteristics of data better than stochastic source models. The third point is on the cause of phase differences between the LF range and the HF range. The root cause is that, even after removing the instrument response, vertical seismic data contain effects from gravity and Earth rotation. Gravity effects become significant for frequencies below 0.005 Hz and create discrepancies between deconvolved vertical displacements and true vertical displacements. Phase-difference results are naturally explained by it.

Tanimoto, T., & Li, Y. (2020). Nature of Low‐Frequency, Atmosphere‐Generated Seismic Noise. Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth, 125(7). doi: 10.1029/2020JB019423.